Precautions when selling in person to a stranger..

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by someguy, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #1
    I found a potential buyer for my PC. He (or they based on the use of the word 'we' in the emails) is/are meeting me this morning around 11 to pick up the machine and pay me in cash. They seem completely legitimate in the emails, leaving the full name of whoever was typing and also a cell phone number so I could contact them and work out a suitable meeting location.

    Being the paranoid freak that I am sometimes, I want to do everything I can to make sure I don't get "jacked", "ganked", or any other way there is to say "screwed over" (also not getting beat up or shot would be great). I don't want to not sell the machine to them as I really need the money and they made me a very nice offer, IMO.

    So what can I do to make sure that nothing goes down? I've done everything I can to make sure they don't and won't get any personal information about myself. I told them I don't have a cell phone so they won't have my number, we are meeting quite a ways from where I live, and I'm going to format the PC's HD today before I go..

    (can someone confirm whether or not formatting the disk will be sufficient enough to keep them from recovering data? I'd "zero" the drive, but I don't know of any free software to do so)

    ..so, any suggestions on how I can make today go as smoothly as possible?
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    Take a friend and meet in a busyish public spot. Count the cash twice.
     
  3. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #3
    Definitely counting the cash twice. ;)

    I had the idea last night about finding a cop today and asking him to just sit in the parking lot and keep an eye on everything. You know how you see cops sometimes just sitting around in parking lots, seemingly doing nothing (I caught one sleeping behind a building once in his car). I don't think it would look out of place if there were a police officer sitting in his car across the parking lot. I know I'd feel much safer as well.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    Do it in an indoor shopping mall. They may have cameras as well.
     
  5. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #5
    Go with a friend (or if not, make sure someone knows where you are), meet them in a public place e.g. starbucks where you can sit down and have a look at each other. Even better if it's a cafe where the staff know you.

    I brought a powerbook for £1200 in cash once, and my partner was very nervous about me going to a rough part of town with that much cash on me, but I've learnt to trust my gut feeling about people and places.

    The other guy was even more nervous that I was gonna beat him and steal his powerbook. We met in a cafe, where apparently he knew the manager, who had a good look at me, before taking me to his mums house, where we had a look at the powerbook and did the deal there.

    Oh yes, I told him to count my cash, (which I had counted beforehand) and he caught a mistake in my counting. Oops :)

    To be honest, I would have prefered to have done the whole deal in the cafe, instead of going to a strange house.

    An idea for you might be to ring your mate every ten minutes to update them on whats happening. Just say you borrowed the mobile for the day or something.

    xx T
     
  6. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #6
    I think I'm going to call a buddy of mine.. who happens to be like 6'3, 220lbs. :)

    Anyone on the formatting question?
     
  7. Lau Guest

    #7
    I think taking your friend along is a good idea, but don't go too overboard. If you don't have any reason to suspect him, he's going to be in the same situation with a load of cash on him and is (quite rightly) going to be put off a bit if you turn up with a load of huge friends and a police escort. He's put himself on the line more than you by giving you his cell phone number, whereas you haven't. It'll be fine if you're meeting in a public place and are reasonably careful.

    As for the formatting, I don't think you've got time to zero the drive anyway. It can take hours and hours.
     
  8. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #8
    You know, this thread has me freaked.

    We are getting ready to move, and are interested in selling a lot of our "starter" IKEA stuff, so I told Rob I woul dsell it on Craigslist...not so sure I want soemone coming to our house to pick up a bookcase, and then coming back an hour later to walk off with my Apple gear or kill me. :(
     
  9. Foxglove9 macrumors 65816

    Foxglove9

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    #9
    I've made dozens of transactions in person, and even had people in my home and hung out a while to play with the gear I was selling.

    Never ever had a problem. People are usually just as nervous as you are, so you have no reason to fear.
     
  10. Lau Guest

    #10
    A couple of times I've had people pick stuff up from home I've put it in the hallway first so they wouldn't have to come into the living room or whatever.
     
  11. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #11
    I'd be careful with giant friends, unless they're the type of big person that makes friends with everyone straightaway. You dont want him running away as suggested above!

    If you're selling a PC, then you probably want to show it to him working before getting your money.

    You could move it into hall or the kitchen or somewhere where there are few valuables, so the stranger isn't gonna see your laptops / other valuables.

    If the buyer is coming to your house, then having a few people over and asking them to watch TV in the next room is pretty harmless. They'll be there for you, and the buyer wont be confronted with a gang in his face. He does after all have your address on record, which should make him feel a bit safer.
     
  12. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #12
    But, he could be *hot*!!! :p
     
  13. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #13
    Very true. I'll just have to get some shells for the shotgun, in case he's hot and a lunatic. ;)
     
  14. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #14
    I just called him from my cell (told him it was a friend's) and he seemed pretty cool. I pushed the time back to 11:30 because I can't get this thing formatted (only have USB keyboards which won't work when booting to XP disk for some reason, and Partition Magic 8.0 demo won't let me actually make changes to the partitions). Ugh.

    My friend John is coming with me, and I've decided not to bring a cop. Wish me luck!



    Oh, and iGary, I can take a pic of him if you'd like, although he might be kind of weirded out. ;)
     
  15. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #15
    Pictures, please, YES! :D
     
  16. Foxglove9 macrumors 65816

    Foxglove9

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    #16
    Don't worry about it, sell your stuff, no one is going to rob you. However I would say not to leave lots of expensive jewelry around, or if you are that concerned about your stuff, just cover certain things with blankets or hide them. Simple stuff.
     
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #17
    Comforting words. Are you the guy coming over to iGary's later? :D
     
  18. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #18
    I don't know about the blanket idea, I think a better idea is not to allow anyone into your home. I think meeting at an agreed upon public location like I am today is the best way to go. That's just my opinion, though. :)
     
  19. Foxglove9 macrumors 65816

    Foxglove9

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    #19
    Drats, foiled again! :p
     
  20. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #20
    have Beaumont hide in the trunk with a shotgun. As soon the guy shows up, Beamont pops out and racks that baby...shouldn't have any problems after that.

    Take Beaumont to Roscoe's Chicken And Waffles afterward to thank him...
     
  21. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    #21
    Seconded. I did this on an eBay transaction and it worked flawlessly.
     
  22. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #22
    Your not selling cocaine here so I would say your safe. He isn't going to grab your desktop and start running very quickly. Just go to a Wal-Mart parking lot or something, have him show you the cash, count it and then leave.

    jon
     
  23. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #23
    :eek:

    He dropped it as I handed it to him! Can you believe this! I'm sitting here with a broken ass machine because "butterfingers" over there can't catch a 15lb PC. I told him he had to take it and he got back in his car and drove off!jk

    This is definitely not the highlight of my week!
    jk
    I can't believe this *******. I got his name and cell number, though, so is there anyway to hunt him down?jk again!

    Don't quote me on this, though.
     
  24. iGary Guest

    iGary

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  25. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #25
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    what were you doing holding it for him?

    Bad luck, maybe you can recover some of the parts?

    Does it refuse to boot now? Maybe reseating the cards etc might help.

    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:


    ps:

    You have included 13 images in your message. You are limited to using 10 images so please go back and correct the problem and then continue again.
     

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